Two local community groups and one Leicester City Centre school took part in an exciting project, exploring the history of some of Leicester’s Parks through printmaking, during March – May 2017.
The project was designed to increase awareness of the heritage and history of Leicester’s parks with a particular emphasis on Spinney Hills, Castle Park and Victoria Park whilst providing an active and fulfilling creative experience. The project was delivered in partnership with Leicester City Council City Parks Department and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Mothers Unite, a support group for women who are living apart from their children, focused on Victoria Park. Network for Change, a local social enterprise that supports adults whose mental health problems have impacted on their quality of life, focused on Spinney Hills and Moat Community College, based in Highfields near our former home at St. Stephens Road looked at Castle Gardens.
Teaching all three groups and leading on the creation of artworks was LPW Artist Sally Stephens. Sally was supported by LPW Studio Technician Serena Smith and together they created collaborative prints plus more personal, individual works of art that will tell stories from the parks.
Starting with an introductory session at Leicester Print Workshop, exploring linocut and monoprint techniques, each group then took a site visit to their park, accompanied by Leicester Guide Steve Bruce who uncovered stories about the buildings and history. For some participants it was their first visit to the parks, as well as their first experience of printmaking.
The groups produced prints inspired by their visits here at Leicester Print Workshop. Each group’s collaborative print was exhibited at LPW’s Project Space in May 2017 and reproduced as postcard.
The project continued through drop in printmaking workshops at this year’s Riverside Festival, which took place on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June. There, members of the public had the opportunity to work with Sally Stephens and contribute to another large collaborative piece of work, this time inspired by the festival location of Bede Park.
The project will continue, involving more community groups In October 2017 and March 2018. More information to come soon!
Printing Parks is part of a wider Heritage Lottery Funded, Leicester City Council project, Story of Parks.
Printing Parks with Moat Community College was a City Classroom project.